I purchased a pair of shoes from Michael Andrews Bespoke (that’s a story for another post) and I realized that I had better take good care of them. First off, I wanted to get a nice big shoe horn likethe one they had there. I started looking for local shoe stores on the Internet but ended up on a user created eBay page about how to take care of your leather shoes. I clicked on it and discovered that the user who created the page also had an eBay store. That store also happened to have its own website: ShoeAndFootCare.com. And boy did I have a field day there.

The most pressing business was to find a long shoe horn made of metal. I found that on their website sure enough. Then I remembered that I needed cedar shoe trees, and surely enough, I found it on their website. I saw that they carried just about anything I would need in order to properly care for my shoes.

After browsing their site for about a half an hour, I came up with this somewhat expensive shopping list.

  • Ultra Long Steel Shoe Horns, 31″
  • FOOTFITTER Cedar Shoe Trees Sir James, Split Toe
  • Collonil Ultra Cream with Lonalin
  • Collonil Waterstop Colors Shoe Cream
  • Kiwi Wax Shoe Polish
  • Shoe Shine Cloth
  • Collonil Waterstop Spray
  • Collonil Premium Leather Lotion
  • Leather Sole and Edge Dressing

The shoe horns will help prevent my heavy heel from crushing the back of my shoe. The shoe trees would help me maintain the shape of my shoe. But what if it rains? What if it snows? New York winters are never kind on leather shoes, what with the slushy sidewalks full of salt and snow. Many a time I have had to throw out a pair of good shoes because of an irreparable snow stain.

This is where hard work and good old fashioned elbow grease will come into play. Ever since I learned how to apply a military spit shine on my combat boots, I preferred nothing else but a beautiful mirror shine on my shoes that came from my own scrubbing. Shining my own shoes is oddly therapeutic, perhaps because it is one of the few things in life where you reap what you sow, and what you put in is what you get.

I intend to use the Ultra Cream to condition my bespoke shoes. This will give the leather more suppleness. Secondly, I will apply the Waterstop Shoe Cream: this will protect my shoes where there may be spots where the wax has flaked away. I will then proceed to apply some wax and shine the hell out of the entire shoe. Once I build up a mirror shine, I can spray on the Waterstop for good measure. Should my shoes get dirty, I will use the Leather Lotion to clean off the surface the shoe as well as the nooks and crannies. This might seem to be overkill, but hey, I’m taking no chances on a $500 pair of shoes.

The complete list comes out to nearly a hundred dollars, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure the longevity of my bespoke shoes (as well as any other pair of leather shoes that I or my family wear). Not only that, but I can use the Leather Lotion and the Waterstop Spray on my Prada Saffiano leather double-gusset briefcase (in black of course).

Apparently the spray is supposed to go on before the wax, which makes it redundant if I use the Waterstop cream.